Tanzania: Chinese Firms Pinned Over Tax Evasion

AUTHORITIES in Dodoma have retained facilities of a Chinese state-owned firm, China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCC) over alleged non-payment of millions of shillings in tax.

Tanzania National Roads Agency had in 2013 contracted the construction and design company to build a 260-kilometre Dodoma-Iringa road. The contractor was required under state laws to pay 235.7m/- as royalty upon completion of the project.

But, officials say nearly two years after completing the assignment, the defiant firm has paid only 23.1m/-. "We resolved to put on hold all its facilities until it clears the debt," Dodoma Regional Mineral Officer Silimu Mtigile said,

adding, "All its facilities used during the construction work are still grounded." The Deputy Minister for Minerals, Mr Dotto Biteko said it is a legal requirement to all constructing firms to pay royalty, hailing the decision by the regional mineral office.

He said the government is implementing many strategies to increase revenue collections from the mineral sector and improve delivery of social services. "Our president has been vocal, campaigning for this natural resources to benefit the entire nation.

I urge all firms and state authorities to ensure the required taxes or charges are paid accordingly," he said at his meeting with officers in the mineral office in Dodoma. CCCC officials could not be reached for comment yesterday. Construction of Iringa-Dodoma road form part of the Great North Road that starts from Cape Town in South Africa to Cairo in Egypt through Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.

Mr Mtigile said however the office is also considering similar actions against another Chinese state-owned hydropower engineering and construction company - Sinohydro Company.

The firm was contracted to construct a 43.65-kilometre Dodoma Urban-Mayamaya road and was required to pay 240.8m/- but has so far paid only 33.1m/- since May 2015. He named other Chinese firms with outstanding taxes as China Henan International Cooperation Group, CHICO and China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG), a subsidiary of the construction conglomerate, China Railway Group Limited

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